"We have pulled all stops to make sure the success of this year's Palarong Pambansa," Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said in a statement.
The DepEd chief added General Technical Guidelines have been issued to ensure that the annual sports event will run smoothly.
Lapus will be the keynote speaker in Sunday's opening rites set at 4 p.m., representing President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who could not attend due to previous commitments.
PSC chair William “Butch” Ramirez was sure that “this year’s organizers have learned their lessons in the past” to make certain the successful turn out of the games.
“I’m sure they (the organizers) have learned their lessons in the past. I think they have made an evaluation to the incident that has occurred in Koronadal,” said Ramirez who specifically cited the cases of heat stroke that killed at least two persons and hospitalized several others.
He was confident that the host city of Puerto Princesa under Mayor Edward Hagedorn is well prepared.
Lapus has also ordered the organizers of this year’s games to ensure the health of the athletes, coaches and officials.
In a press statement, DepEd said it has closely coordinated with other government agencies and non-government organizations to monitor the medical conditions of the participants.
“Sports and health authorities will keep a close watch on athletes who will be exposed to extreme summer heat,” the statement added.
The host city is also taking measures to make sure that everything is well for the staging of the multi-sport events for elementary and grade school students among the country’s 17 regions.
Hagedorn personally ensures the convenience of his guest delegations by personally checking them in their respective billeting places. “This is to prove our support to the 2008 Palarong Pambansa, which we hope will be the most successful and the most memorable ever,” said Hagedorn.
The host city reportedly spent some P50 million in the rehabilitation of the facilities, venues and billeting centers and another P10 million for the operation of the multi-event meet. (Rico Biliran / MindaNews)